Education Under Sail Forum
Models of Educational Daysails
Exploring public programming: Sustainability For your organization through program diversification.
Catherine Collins, Executive Director, Sound Experience
Catherine has over two decades in non-profit fundraising and management, and has worked with youth development organizations such as Outward Bound and City Year. She spent a decade helping to develop strong local economies throughout the U.S. with ACCION USA – a subsidiary of worldwide microfinance leader ACCION International. A native of Massachusetts, Catherine grew up sailing Cape Cod waters. Her interest in environmental work aboard ships was sparked many years ago as a volunteer educator aboard the Sloop Clearwater on New York’s Hudson River. Catherine received her MBA from Seattle University in 2001, and was a finalist for the Earnst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in the category of Education/Nonprofit for founding Clickerz, a summer technology camp for children from low- to moderate-income families. She currently serves on the board of the Environmental Education Association of Washington (EEAW) and Seattle University’s Entrepreneurship Center. Like many involved in Sound Experience, Catherine followed her son to the organization, as he was a participant and then for several years a Ship’s Apprentice.
Meghan Wren Briggs, Executive Director, Bayshore Discovery Project
Meghan E. Wren Briggs is founder and Executive Director of the Bayshore Discovery Project. A student of literature at the University of Pennsylvania and later of environmental studies at Stockton State College, she interrupted her degree work to create the Bayshore Discovery Project in 1988 at age 23. Her youth spent on (and in) the water, her deckhand experience on the 1877 barque Elissa and others, her work as a crabber and shipwright on Delaware Bay and her passion for things old and the cultural landscape of South Jersey inspired her to transform a decrepit hulk of an oyster dredger into a living voice for Delaware Bay. With a commitment to community involvement, volunteerism and consensus building, Ms Wren Briggs built the organization and amassed the financial, technical and human resources necessary to restore the 1928 schooner A.J. Meerwald. The organization has since grown into a well-respected educational institution in the Delaware Valley serving nearly 50,000 people annually. In addition to its shipboard programming, BDP delivers shore-based field trips, operates the Delaware Bay Museum and hosts Delaware Bay Days, a free festival attracting 12-15,000 attendees. In 1998, the A.J. Meerwald was designated New Jersey’s Official Tall Ship. Bayshore Discovery Project has received numerous awards, including ASTA’s 2005 Sea Education Program of the Year Award. Ms. Wren Briggs was the recipient of the American Sail Training Association’s 2009 Sail Trainer of the Year Award.
Les Bolton, Executive Director, Grays Harbor Historical Seaport Association
Captain Les Bolton has been actively involved in sail training and maritime heritage projects since the late 1970’s. For the past 20 years he has served as the Executive Director of Grays Harbor Historical Seaport. A founding member of the Pacific Northwest Maritime Heritage Council, he is currently Washington co-chair. He is a graduate of the Seminar for Historical Administration, and in 1992 was awarded the Robert Gray medal for distinguished achievement in the field of Pacific Northwest Maritime History. Les has worked on a number of film projects and serves as a maritime resource for Washington Filmworks and others within the film industry. He has been a board member of the American Sail Training Association since 2001.